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South Korea: Stocks tentative, won benefits from euro strength

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[SEOUL] South Korea's Kospi stock index edged lower on Friday. The Korean won advanced on the local platform and bond yields rose.

At 01.25 GMT, the Kospi was down 1.27 points or 0.05 per cent at 2,486.64.

The won was quoted at 1,065.3 per dollar on the onshore settlement platform, 0.63 per cent firmer than its previous close at 1,072. The currency rose as the euro was lifted after the European Central Bank hinted it may soon start winding back its massive stimulus, dragging on the greenback.

In offshore trading, the won was quoted at 1,065.03 per dollar, down 0.07 per cent from the previous day, while in one-year non-deliverable forwards it fetched 1,056.6 per dollar.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was up 0.39 per cent, after Wall Street's three major stock indexes hit record highs. Japanese stocks weakened 0.17 per cent.

The Kospi is up around 0.8 per cent so far this year, and higher by 0.79 per cent in the previous 30 days.

The current price-to-earnings ratio is 12.10, the dividend yield is 1.28 per cent and the market capitalisation is 1,242.04 trillion won.

The trading volume during the session on the Kospi index was 167,510,000 shares, and of the total traded issues of 881, the number of advancing shares was 356.

Foreigners were net sellers of 76,391 million won worth of shares.

The US dollar has fallen 0.09 per cent against the won this year. The won's high for the year is 1,059 per dollar on January 8 and low is 1,073.2 on January 11.

In money and debt markets, March futures on three-year treasury bonds fell 0.02 point to 107.78.

The Korean 3-month Certificate of Deposit benchmark rate was quoted at 1.66 per cent, while the benchmark 3-year Korean treasury bond yielded 2.161 per cent, higher than the previous day's 2.15 per cent.

REUTERS